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28 Upcoming Mega-Events. 28 Reasons to Go. Coincidence? No.

block party mega event blog picMega-Events, or any Geocaching Event, are a way to decode all the unanswered mystery surrounding geocaching. You’ll discover geocaching experts who love to share their love of geocaching. It might be as easy as asking, “What’s it mean when the clue says you should tie your shoe?” (It typically means to bend down and look under a bench). You might also connect with new friends to help power your geocaching exploration. And that’s just the beginning. Here are 28 reasons, in no particular order, about what you could experience at a Mega-Event:

Earn a smiley. Meet local volunteers. Discover new friendships. Geocache before and after. Sign the official log book. Meet vendors.Buy sweet swag. Trade trackables. Ask questions. Ask more questions.Eat good food. Try something new. Discover a new city. Rediscover an old city. Connect geocaching names with faces. Take a picture with Geocaching mascot Signal. Be in-the-know on the latest trends. Discover trackables. Rekindle friendships. Introduce your kids to a new adventure. Log a new geocache type. Pinpoint a destination for your next trip. Compare epic geocaching stories! Find love (it’s happened before). Talk with someone who works at Geocaching HQ. Get inspired for your next hide. Brush up on your GPS tech skills. Get tips to finally find unfound geocaches. 

If you’re searching for a great Mega-Event, check out the Geocaching Block Party in Seattle onAugust 17. The worldwide community will be attending and celebrating geocaching right outside Geocaching HQ. Do you know of a few more reasons to attend a Mega-Event? Share them with the geocaching community on comments below, or on our Facebook page.

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New York Mega-Event as a Homecoming

Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are joining geocachers at Mega-Events around the world to celebrate and share the adventure of geocaching. Amy Faulkner, a.k.a. Theworldisfun, attended Allegheny State Park Geobash VIII (GC3P9M9) in New York, USA in May. Amy has been with Geocaching HQ as an Events Production Manager since 2013. This is Amy’s account of her trip.

Amy a.k.a. Theworldisgood
Amy a.k.a. Theworldisfun

I recently had the privilege of attending the Allegheny State Park Geobash VIII (GC3P9M9). I’m sure that everyone’s first visit to a Mega event holds a special place in their heart but this particular trip was extra special to me as it was a bit of a homecoming. I grew up in the area where the event took place so my flight across the country served many purposes: I was able to attend my first Mega event as a lackey, see my family , and meet a lot of new and interesting people in the Geocaching community.

Cool geocache
Cool geocache

As someone fairly new to Geocaching HQ, attending your first Mega event is slightly overwhelming and incredibly exciting at the same time. I arrived at the beautiful state park location on Friday evening just in time for the bonfire. Walking up to the site I immediately knew this was going to be a life changing experience. Every person there, despite many of them being strangers, had one common bond: Geocaching. Listening to the stories shared around the fire solidified what I already knew – geocachers are a great community.

The welcoming and hospitality was especially appreciated because I attended the event with my parents both non-geocachers. Throughout the weekend I continued to meet so many interesting geocachers each with a great story as to how they became involved in the game, their favorite geocache, what it means to them, etc.. There were way too many people that contributed to making this trip so memorable for me but a few of the standout were:

Team-Ducky
Team-Ducky

The ASPGB Committee: These guys worked really hard to make a great event.

Team-Ducky: I’ll admit I am a sucker for a box of Sharpies and something to use them on. The duo that makes Team-Ducky travels with those Sharpies and a bunch of blank rubber duckies. You may find one in a geocache someday. I even had the opportunity to make one myself but the highlight was the one that they made for me.

benny06: Also a first time Mega event attendee, we exchanged travel stories and favorite finds.

scrabblehounds: I am a big fan of dogs and scrabblehounds’ dog Neko may be one of my favorites.

Cherry Spawn: his enthusiasm for all things geocaching is contagious

At the end of the weekend, when all was said and done, the ASPGB VIII was an amazing event to attend. It was well organized by a great geocaching community, the people that were there were friendly, welcoming, and enthusiastic about the game, and I can now proudly say that my parents are geocachers. I can’t wait till next year.

Mega-Event Group Picture
Mega-Event Group Picture

 

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MidWest GeoBash 2012

Sometimes a simple match won’t do for a Mega-Event fire

Groundspeak Lackeys are traveling thousands of miles from H.Q. throughout the year to share smiles, shake hands, and make geocaching memories at nearly 20 Mega-Events worldwide. Justin Dover aka dova dov, attended the Mega-Event Midwest GeoBash 2012 (GC34GFG) The Mega-Event took place in Wauseon, Ohio. Justin has served as a Lackey since 2009 and is an engineer in IT – basically he’s one of the hamsters. Here’s Justin’s account of his adventure.

Justin Dover aka dova dov

By Justin Dover:

Working at Groundspeak for nearly three years, I’ve had a few opportunities to travel.  My most recent adventure was to the great state of Ohio for the 8th annual MidWest GeoBash.  For the fourth year in a row, the event has been held over four days at the Fulton County Fairgrounds in Wauseon, OH.  This venue supports several hundred campsites with access to RV hookups and shower facilities.

I selected this destination over other options because of the hype for MWGB around the office.  Over the years, dozens of Lackeys have attended, and they each have stories that seemed almost too good to be true.  Lackey Raine accompanied me on this trip to make it his fifth time attending.  His previous experience and knowledge of regular attendees made for a comfortable and unforgettable experience.  When we arrived we were immediately whisked away via golf cart to meet up with main organizers, dubbed “the big three”:  Mike (Trippy1976), Sonja (-Eleanor-) and Pete (The Moop Along).  They explained the history of the event, why themes play an important role and the several venues that had come before the now permanent home at FCF.  It’s amazing how successful this non-profit event has become, and it’s all made possible through the hard work of numerous of volunteers and generous donations.

Mega-Event sized Jenga

During the day, this event is like most others that I’ve attended.  Cachers walk around socializing, filling out geo-bingo cards and getting to know interesting and sometimes random facts about each other.  For the past several years, there has been a geocoin Texas Hold-em poker tournament where the buy-in is three unique, unactivated geoicoins and the lot is split among the top three finishers.  Other activities include a campfire cook-off, poker run and tons of opportunities to log new finds.

Lackeys Raine and Justin at MidWest GeoBash

What happens when the sun goes down is what separates the event from many others.  Each night, at 10pm, Matt (Lord Elwood) comes out wielding a propane ditch burner and captures the attention of the masses located near the front of the encampment.  This location holds the moniker of “Area 51”, and is typically better known for pyrotechnics, adults unwinding and rekindling friendships over a drink. With torch still in hand, the rounds are made to each of the fire pits and the wood is engulfed in flame faster than thought possible.

There were other activities going on like life-sized Jenga.  Either way, you will not leave Area 51 thirsty and you will most certainly not be bored.  I felt right at home among Midwesterners. Everyone I encountered was friendly, fun, and knows how to have a great time.  As the saying goes at MidWest GeoBash “First of the day!” And I hope I get to say it again next year, especially since the theme of MidWest GeoBash 2013 is Mardi Gras.

Closing Ceremonies

 

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Geocaching on the Go – Geocaching.com Weekly Newsletter

Smart Geocaching with a Smartphone App

Geocachers are known for being prepared — from bug spray to backup batteries. Now you can be prepared to go geocaching almost anywhere, anytime (even if you forget to download geocaches to your handheld GPS device).

Take the power of Geocaching.com on the go with the official Geocaching.com smartphone app. The app makes the journey to log your next smiley as simple as clicking, “Find Nearby Geocaches.” You’re also able to hone your spontaneous quest for geocaches with an advanced search and sort geocaches by Favorite Points, cache type, and more. Geocaching.com offers apps for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7. Do you have a different type of phone? See if one of our third-party developers makes an app for you.

International Geocaching Day — August 18

Earn a souvenir as geocachers unite on August 18 to celebrate International Geocaching Day. It’s a day devoted enjoying what you love — geocaching. Geocachers who log an “Attended” at an Event Cache or a “Found it” for another cache type on International Geocaching Day earn a souvenir for their Geocaching.com profile page.

Thousands of adventurers will attend one of more than 250 International Geocaching Day events around the globe. Check out the Geocaching.com Event Calendar to find an International Geocaching Day event near you. Don’t forget to share pictures and stories from your International Geocaching Day adventures on the official Geocaching.com Facebook page.

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PROJECT GeoGames 2012 – A Lackey’s Journey

A Mega-Event with a 20-story zip-line

Groundspeak Lackeys are traveling thousands of miles from H.Q. throughout the year to share smiles, shake hands, and make geocaching memories at nearly 20 Mega-Events worldwide. Ben Field aka, LackeyBenno, attended the Mega-Event PROJECT: GeoGames 2012 (GC32012). It took place in Leipzig, Germany. Ben has been a Lackey since 2008 and works in IT. Here’s Ben’s account of his adventure.

Written by: Ben Field

Lackey Ben “LackeyBenno”

As I read through the descriptions of the games being hosted at the Geogames Mega-Event in Leipzig, I had two questions running through my head:  How many of these games should I actually attempt and what exactly IS a PETling???  The answer to the first question took a few hours to figure out, the second one was answered relatively quickly.  A PETling is a small plastic preform for a 2-liter bottle. The clear water-tight containers are frequently used as geocaches in Germany. The PEtlings were the focus of three of the GeoGames I was about to attempt.

The day leading up to the event I managed to take the tram with Jeremy, the Co-Founder and CEO of Geocaching.com, to grab a few caches and explore downtown Leipzig.  I’d already seen a small amount of the downtown area having come down the night before to watch Deutschland’s agonizing defeat in the Eurocup semi-finals, but wasn’t about to pass up more opportunities to explore.

PETling

There was an added layer of difficulty finding some of the caches with our limited knowledge of German.  After looking for one cache in the wrong area for a lengthy period of time, some nearby geocachers helped us out by explaining that the name of the cache we were looking for translated to “old town hall”, which happened to be the building across the street from where we were searching.  We had no trouble logging the find once we had what should have been an obvious giveaway.

Between caches, we also managed to explore the Bach museum, which held some fascinating pieces of history. The museum was positioned next to the site of the Thomasschule, where Bach taught students and composed during the latter part of his life.

After a great meal at Romanushof on Katharinenstraße, and a gracious ride back to the Messegelände from cachers Manuela and Peter (Schulze&Schultze) but better known by the name of their geocaching and dining blog “Schlemmercacher“, we prepared for the opening party.  While Jeremy was busy preparing a speech, I represented the US in the opening parade with only Signal at my side.  Thankfully, Caro (saxony) was gracious enough to hold the sign for us as we marched through the masses of people gathered for the event.

Dosenfischer in concert

Still feeling some effects of a cold, I wasn’t feeling overly adventurous the next day, but I was too excited for the event to let the cold hold me down.  Enjoying the PETling toss first, my enthusiasm grew. By the time the 6:00pm cutoff arrived, I’d made it through all of the games. My new geocaching friend Jana (tkrholic) kept me moving, determined to complete all of the games and keep me company throughout the day.

The games weren’t the only activities at the event. There was ample time during the day to take photos of Jeremy descending the Trau Dich (zip line – see the photo at top) from the top of the 75M high tower.  Later in the evening, it was time to take in the geocaching band Dosenfischer and mingle with the masses of geocachers as a thunderstorm passed by.  All in all, it was a fantastic day.

We found time the next day to explore some areas of Leipzig with Andy (stash-lab) and Nils (Nilos).  A trip to the Völkerschlachtdenkmal monument commemorating the German victory over the French at the Battle of the Nations was a worthwhile glimpse at the history of the location. After snagging the correspondingly named cache, we stumbled upon some other cachers, including ORaMo and Rennrodler. They graciously shared some personalized swag with us.  Before heading out, there was still time to snag a few more caches including Connex and then Gleis 26 – Reloaded at the train station.  It was a great day to end a great trip.

Ben (far left) at the Völkerschlachtdenkmal Monument with Jeremy (center) and geocachers